Mounties’ wireless network improves productivity

Wednesday, 30 June, 2010

The Mounties Group has implemented a business-class, centrally managed, secure wireless networking solution to improve staff productivity from D-Link.

The Mounties Group operates four registered clubs with its primary business based at the Mt Pritchard & District Community Club near Liverpool in Sydney’s fast-growing South-West region. Other clubs in the Mounties Group include Manly Bowling Club, Fairfield Bowling Club and the Harbord Diggers Memorial Club on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

The Mounties Club in Mt Pritchard is one of the largest registered clubs in Australia with more than 95,000 members and 30 sporting subclubs including rugby league, cricket, soccer, netball and golf.

The Mounties faced the challenge of providing wireless connectivity throughout its clubs to improve staff productivity and take full advantage of its Task-Manager integrated point-of-sale system which allows staff to perform stocktakes via handheld palmtop computers.

Task-Manager provides tight control over inventory management, cash management and staff costs, helping to detect problems such as loss and wastage.

The mobile stocktaking devices are designed to communicate back to the main server wirelessly. However, Mounties had no wireless networking infrastructure and turned to data communications specialist Alliance SI, which has worked with Mounties for many years on all its major electrical and data communications projects, to help quickly source and implement a solution.

“We needed to do a quick analysis to see what sort of wireless connectivity we could achieve in the relevant areas within the clubs,” said Frank Raffoul, Information Technology Manager for the Mounties Group. “My biggest issue was sourcing a solution that was reliable and consistently worked across all areas of the club. D-Link is a company that I have dealt with in the past so I knew for a fact that D-Link would easily adapt to our environment and provide the solution we were looking for.”

“There are a few reasons why we recommended D-Link but the main one is its industry reputation,” said Duncan MacLennan, National Projects Manager at Alliance SI. “D-Link has an advantage over its competitors because it approaches a project from the point of view of taking full ownership, commencing with a site survey. Other vendors do not provide the sort of hands-on support we experience with D-Link.

“The speedy response, the site survey at the beginning and the overall ownership of the full project were all key factors in D-Link winning the job.”

D-Link proposed a business-class, centrally managed, secure wireless networking solution based on a DWS-3024L Layer 2+ gigabit wireless switch, 11 DWL-8500AP wireless switching dualband access points and a DFL-860 NetDefend unified threat management firewall.

With Power over Ethernet support, the DWS-3024L switch allows simple deployment of wireless devices regardless of physical location, and centralised management of secure wireless mobility and policy enforcement. This enabled Mounties to implement a secure and scalable wireless solution that can consolidate the security, manage the bandwidth and maintain the intelligence of its entire wireless network from a central location.

Deployed around the clubs and connected back to the DWS-3024L switch are the D-Link DWL-8500AP access points. The wireless access points continually tune themselves for optimal RF channel and transmission power to provide all mobile clients with the best wireless signal. The result is seamless roaming between access points for clear, uninterrupted communication.

“We now have automated processes when it comes to the stocktake, which ultimately saves the club money,” said Raffoul. “Instead of somebody physically counting stock and walking over to a PC to manually key information in, we now have wireless bar-code scanners which improve productivity and reduce costs at the same time.

“As technology is always evolving, it seems more than ever that wireless solutions are the key for improving and simplifying business processes and procedures,” added Raffoul. For Mounties this means additional uses for the new wireless system in the future.

Raffoul is not only happy with the new D-Link wireless solution, he is happy with the selection process and implementation project as well. “Alliance SI is a company we trust. They have always done the right thing by Mounties and over many years they have successfully implemented multiple projects, both large and small.”

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